Money talks, but what it has to say happens to be grimmer than, “Timmy is trapped in a well.” Sadly, people tend to turn clogged ears toward its intricacies, and as a result wind up compromising their homes, businesses, and even surrounding neighborhoods. Proper financial education, on a macro and a micro level, helps translate some of what dollars and cents can really do, and their potential to make life as amazing as it does hellish. Check out the following TED Talks for a crash course in economics benefiting private and public spenders alike.
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies.
Allowing economic injustices to perpetuate themselves and denying those contending with poorer finances harms far more than it heals. University of Nottingham’s Richard Wilkinson shares his life’s research on the matter here, hopefully offering up inspiration for citizens and governments to fight for higher life expectancies and improved public health.
Laurie Santos: A monkey economy as irrational as our own.
Come to find out, humans don’t exactly hold a monopoly on establishing and maintaining economies — our closest ancestors in the monkey scene boast their own complex systems as well. Even more fascinating, the flaws in their systems eerily parallel those made among people, leading viewers to wonder if mistakes are more inherent to nature than nurture.
Schlomo Benartzi: Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow.
The unique psychology lurking behind common financial planning decisions (particularly mistakes) comes to light here thanks to a behavioral economist. Here, he illustrates how to rewire the habits that compel people to spend money the minute they have it, because such things ultimately lead to fiscally questionable futures.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin: Ethiopian economics.
It’s going to take a bit of time and even more money, but this former World Bank economist shares a strategy to forge a commodities market in Ethiopia, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable society. She believes that agricultural investments might prove the most beneficial overall, is it will ultimately reduce the nation’s need for foreign aid.
Loretta Napoleoni: The intricate economics of terrorism.
Because of her experiences communicating with the communist terrorism cell Brigate Rosse, Loretta Napoleoni received a thorough education in the economics behind covert sabotage. And these economics prove, in fact, highly complex when it comes to the more organized groups out there; to the point even government strategies hold some parallels.
Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature.
Pavan Sukhdev encourages humanity to consider its mining of natural materials — which cost nothing up front — as little more than just another economic transaction. Many may think this a remarkably callous way to approach nature, but this eco-friendly banker’s intent is anything but; he believes such a mindset would actually curb destructive mining, logging, farming, and fishing techniques.
Cameron Herold: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs.
Nurturing creativity, innovation, and fiscal responsibility at an early age could be considered a worthwhile investment in the future; after all, creating opportunities for themselves means creating opportunities for others in kind. Both parents and teachers should check out this illuminating TED Talk when wanting to encourage upcoming generations to make wise choices with their money and ideas alike.
Matt Weinstein: What Bernie Madoff couldn’t steal from me.
While cruising among Antarctic icebergs, the Playfair founder received a satellite phone call breaking the news that all his investments with Bernie Madoff proved one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. Despite losing everything financially, Matt Weinstein and his wife decided to change their outlook and find value in things other than money and the luxuries it can purchase.
Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world.
Social media, the Internet, and other communication-altering technologies have managed to also create a metaphorical film that sits on top of humanity’s interactions. As one of the minds behind SCVNGR (which dedicates itself to exploring this “game layer”) explains, it stands poised to completely revolutionize how humans conduct their educations and businesses alike.
Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money — and love.
Kiva.org’s founder opens up about how her changing views regarding poverty inspired her to launch a nonprofit dedicated to offering microloans to enterprising individuals in economically deprived areas. Learn about the organization’s powerful accomplishments here and find out exactly how far $25 can go in the pocket of a wise entrepreneur.
Geoff Mulgan: Post-crash, investing in a better world.
Global financial meltdown obviously shouldn’t be thought of as a wonderful thing, particularly when it comes to how horrible it proved for those on the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. However, it does offer chances (not to mention motivation) for entrepreneurs and investors to learn from past mistakes and use their resources to prevent serious issues from cropping up again.
This article was first posted on Online MBA.